Four new rabbis, Galia Sadan, Vered Sakal, Gilad Kariv and Haim Rechnitzer received their ordination from Rabbi Professor David Ellenson, President of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion on November 21, 2003. These young rabbis exemplify the growing impact of Progressive Judaism among young Israelis and their quest for authentic Jewish expression.
Galia Sadan was born and reared on Kibbutz Yechiam, has taught Biblical studies in various frameworks, and is currently working with the Beit Daniel Congregation in Tel Aviv. Sadan's commitment to social issues is evidence by her work with women prisoners, the hearing impaired and Rabbis for Human Rights.
Vered Sakal, born in Rechovot, will be serving as the rabbi of a new congregation in Givatayim. In her studies and professional work, Sakal synthesizes her work in Jewish philosophy with her expertise in community and organizational management.
Gilad Kariv is an attorney who was involved with the Tel Aviv Beit Daniel Congregation since its inception. Active in the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism during his legal studies, Kariv now heads the Public and Social Policy Department of the Israel Religious Action Center, enhancing that organization's activities in the fields of social justice and assistance for the underprivileged.
Haim Rechnitzer, born in Jerusalem, is an accomplished musician with a PhD in Jewish Philosophy. His desire to combine academic research with educational and cultural action led him to his rabbinical studies. Rechnitzer currently teaches Jewish philosophy and trains teachers and educators in formal and informal frameworks.
An Honorary Doctorate was awarded to Professor Trude Dothan, renowned archaeologist, director of the Philip and Muriel Berman Center of Biblical Archaeology at The Hebrew University. Professor Dothan is a recipient of many distinguished awards, including the Israel Prize for her contribution to the archaeology of Israel.
Rabbi Levi Weiman-Kelman was awarded the Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise and Rabbi Stephen S. Wise Prize for his service to the Progressive Jewish Movement in Israel. Weiman-Kelman, a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, founded and serves as rabbi to Congregation Kol HaNeshama, a community whose growth has impacted on Progressive Jewish life in Jerusalem.
The College also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Jewish Communal Service to an alumnus of the institution, Rabbi Donald J. Peterman. Rabbi Peterman is a researcher and Rabbinic Project Coordinator at The Rapport Center for Assimilation Research and Strengthening Jewish Vitality at Bar Ilan University.